We assume that, as you become members, you agree to follow our guidelines that you can link to from the bottom of any email. Click here to see them.
For general guidelines and codes of conduct, MFTJC has adopted the AFT Lists Guidelines. Click here for them.
Members are sensible and will be following the spirit of these guidelines without reading them. But remember that MFTJC's international membership makes different and even conflicting values and cultural expectations more likely. So the conduct sections of the AFT Lists guidelines may be particularly relevant for MFTJC. There are also a number of technical tips in them that you might benefit from knowing.
The MFTJC culture will ideally be a nice balance of, both, careful academic objective debate of peer-reviewed published work and thinking, and also, lively friendly free respectful personal reflection.
In the modern world of internet and globalisation, modern Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (FT & SP) just must have a constant "virtual international conference" running. We have so much to say about such a fascinating field. And we all love a good conference - especially when it's so easy to get to, it's free, and it's much more "green" than travelling to a real conference is.
The Multi Family Therapy Journal Club aims to combine user-friendly accessible focused critical and reflective discourse about selected FT and SP articles - but also with a dynamic light touch. That is the tone of an effective Journal Club.
The desired final outcome of MFTJC is greater quantity and quality of reading, thinking, discussing, and presenting of family therapy articles. So being a member of MFTJC is good CPD and, if you present a paper, good for your CV too.
We want it to be easy for anyone who wants to have a Family Therapy article they fancy discussed internationally in a continuous more flowing discussion forum. And easier to join in the discussion too. So the Multi FT Journal Club:
Runs a two-weekly pattern of global English language FT and SP Journal Club discussion by email and internet through this Google Group.
The Multi FT Journal Club will run continuously throughout the year if we want, including holiday and festive seasons. "Refreshment breaks" will also be appropriate - that is, there is no necessity to fill all the two-weekly slots.
The continuity establishes more of a focus and culture.
The programme is coordinated around an internet Calendar that anyone can access to read.
Email Notification of the next discussion will be sent briefly as details are available in advance, and then formally 4 days before the weekend it is due to start. Notification provides the reference for, and we hope an electronic version of, the article to be discussed. This is for those who wish to read the whole article in advance.
The key factor that makes it all work is the care Presenters take in preparing a brief Opening Email for each discussion.
The Opening Email will summarise the Presenter's chosen article/s, and their opening commentary.
Participants will therefore find it easier to start getting into the discussion because, as in other Journal Clubs, they do not have to have read the full article/s before joining in a discussion. However, of course:
It is even better to have read the full article too where possible, so the advance information facilitates this too.
Each discussion will start as the weekend begins and will run for ten days. There will be four days rounding up and preparation for the next one.
Only members of the Group can take part - receive emails, read the archives etc - but membership is easy for anyone interested to join: Email MultiJFTForumfirstname.lastname@example.org
The aim is to launch discussions into the relative space of a weekend when we are free-er to pay attention.
Anyone who wants to be actively involved every day is advised to join MFTJC with a home based email address.
Friday is when the Calendar marks the Start in.
The Presenter's key Opening Email starts discussion off. Immediate responses are welcome to the Opening Email.
The Opening Email will be sent in time for those whose weekend starts first (ie NZ) to read and respond to it even if they only have a work based email. That means: by Friday mid-day (NZ local time).
NZ is 20 hours ahead of West coast America which means that most of the world will find the Opening Email arrives during their Thursday evening or overnight.
The Opening Email is not the formal Notification Email sent 4 days ahead. A Closing Email then will also signal the winding up of the previous discussion. The Notification Email is the final reminder especially for those who want to read the full article before the weekend.
As you enjoy the quality of the article provided freely by the publisher, please remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and - considering how much better a Family Therapist you will be as a result - entertain the possibility of a proper subscription to the Journal concerned.
Do not start discussion at that Notification point. Wait for the Opening Email.
Always click Reply to ensure the discussion keeps its proper subject heading and organised archive for everyone.
Short responses are often best, but longer contributions will also be welcome after discussion opens.
More than other email groups it matters that the home page archives are well organised. You may alter the subject line in your email reply to indicate a new sub-heading or sub-topic and the system still tracks what it is replying to, so that it keeps the archives together and well ordered for those that read them there.
When you Reply, please get into the habit of trimming your computer's automatic "preference" for quoting the whole of the email you're replying to. Do this by deleting and pasting only a short reminder that links to what you want to say. This only takes a second or two. Better to find how to change it's default preference so it stops repeating the last email.
Don't be shy with your views. High quality discussion often thrives on ordinary or even ignorant points that bring it down to earth. Short contributions are most effective. But long ones are sometimes necessary. Make sure your long emails have to be that long.
Because the Multi FT Journal Club is a development of the earlier Multi-JFT Forum, that original name is still contained in the email and web addresses we use.
Remember that all the key links are at the bottom of every email from the Journal Club Google Group.
Don't be shy to be a presenter. A Journal Club works by connecting a larger group of people with each other's reading when none of us can read everything without that help and encouragement. It is now as easy access as possible for Presenters so that we get all kinds of presenters and papers and discussions. We hope for a balanced mixture. You're part of the mixture we want.
As a Presenter there are only four small tasks to do:
1. Pick an article and a date (see calendar); 2. Ideally, contact the author (at least to let them know); 3. Prepare a short Opening Email summarising the paper and your comments. 4. Ideally, organise yourself or someone to do a Closing Email.
That's it! The tasks do require a few weeks preparation ahead of the start of any discussion. To read more about being a presenter go to: http://groups.google.com/group/MultiJFTForum/web/presenters-guidelines
If there is a suitable free slot, simply ask for it by emailing: MFTJCManagers@googlegroups.com
Visit the MFT Journal Club calendar. Anyone can read this, and click to go forward and back, or to change the view: http://tinyurl.com/362hrq (This "tinyurl" link is safe; it works better than the long real URL - size is not such a good thing for URLs.)
The calendar shows the fixed continuous two-weekly pattern and the main details of slots that have been booked.
Note: If you are an AppleMac user, you can read the basic calendar on Safari, but you need Mozilla Firefox as your browser to open up the fullest details for each entry. (Google search for Mozilla Firefox online and download it for free.)
On the calendar: "Notification" means that, 4 days ahead, the full details of the next Journal Club discussion are formally sent round. It should give the reference, or a link, or a downloadable version, of the full paper to be discussed. This is not required reading - it's just for those who want to read the full paper themselves.
Because reading the full paper is also good practice, brief information will also be notified further in advance as much as possible too. This is worthwhile now that we discover that publishers are supportive and prepared to offer free access on their websites.
The "Start" is on the Friday. A carefully prepared Opening Email will set off the discussion. The Presenter will briefly summarise the paper to be discussed, and briefly summarise their commentary. The aim is to make it very easy for anyone and everyone to begin responding straight away without reading the full article.
"End" (in the Calendar) means that the discussion ends - or at least begins to wind up - so that it is out of the way before the next one. Ideally, a Closing Email sent as a discussion finished up, will summarise the discussion's main themes. If not the Notification email for the next one will mark the boundary.
The 4 days between discussions is to allow some overlap and boundary between the finishing of the last discussion and the notification of the next one.
If there's lots more to say, no problem - in that case, anyone can book the first free slot ahead and put in a suitable paper (or the same one!) to ensure another 10 days for the continuing discussion. We aim to have only one paper being discussed at any one time.
The two-weekly pattern keeps going, even through festive and holidays - some like emailing when they're on holiday. We expect that some slots won't be filled.
If you miss a discussion and want to read it, go to archives on the home page: http://groups.google.com/group/MultiJFTForum